Unprecedented international gathering in Cameroon to present new findings in malaria research and call for urgent action to subdue Africa’s most devastating killer
As malaria deaths remain at alarming levels in Africa - with a child succumbing every 30 seconds and the devastating disease a root cause of the continent's pervasive poverty - an unprecedented gathering will convene in Africa to highlight new findings emerging from the work of Western and African malaria researchers.
In mid-November, 1,500 scientists, policymakers, African ministers, health care workers, community members, and other experts on the diseases will gather in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for the Fourth MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference November 13 - 18 and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership's Forum V Global Partners Meeting November 18 - 19. The conferences will collectively highlight an Africa-wide effort to empower communities, battle complacency and eliminate the many barriers that are keeping effective prevention and treatment from reaching the most vulnerable. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership will report on a coordinated plan to reduce malaria deaths in Africa and worldwide. Journalist site visits to research projects and malaria endemic communities will be organized prior to the conference.
This assembly offers a unique opportunity to find in one venue the world's leading experts on all aspects of malaria from prevention to control and from basic research to program implementation, as they tackle pressing scientific, social and economic issues confronting efforts to subdue the disease. Issues to be addressed include:
- New medicines for malaria: With drug resistance spreading, scientists report on new advances in drugs to control malaria.
- Indigenous plants as sources for new anti-malarials: Is there another Artemisia out there? Results of collection and screening efforts for anti-malarial agents in dozens of plants.
- Country level commitment to malaria control: Leadership and ownership are essential if malaria is to become no longer "a fact of life".
- Insecticide treated bed nets: Scientists know they're effective but research reveals a surprising ambivalence toward using them, even when cost is not a factor.
- Malaria vaccine development: Scientists report findings from clinical trials.
- Insecticide resistance: Scientists find new evidence of mosquitoes overcoming insecticides used in bed nets, such as DDT, and in other malaria control efforts.
- Unlocking the potential of the malaria genome: Decoding the parasite's DNA was a huge achievement. But is it leading scientists to new drugs and vaccines?
- Access to malaria commodities: Scaling up production to ensure 80% coverage with the most effective prevention and treatment in the next two years. Can this be done?
- Treatment as prevention: New evidence on how intermittent use of malaria medicines can prevent the disease and may even induce immunity in children and pregnant women
- HIV and malaria: Co-infection poses a major treatment challenge and scientists find evidence that malaria in pregnancy may facilitate fetal HIV transmission.
- Genetically engineered mosquitoes to control malaria: Is the transgenic mosquito ever going to fly? Scientists debate the risks and benefits.
- Sickle cell and malaria: Scientist probe why people with the sickle cell trait have natural malaria protection while those with sickle cell disease do not.
- Monitoring "adverse events" in Africa: What mechanisms are needed to ensure postmarket safety monitoring of new malaria drugs?
- Field-based reports from ten countries: Is malaria control working at the community level?
- Malaria and migration to the city: Research on the changing landscape of controlling malaria in an increasingly urbanized Africa.
- Africa's human resource drain: What is the impact of the mounting exodus of health workers and scientists on malaria research and control?
Source: Eurekalert & others
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